15 August 2012

The Old Man Pants: Phase 3

Do you remember the Old Man Pants? They first made their appearance in November of 2008, I believe. Since then they have returned a couple times. And here they are again:

28 May 2012

Babies Grow A Lot in Four Months

This was Guinevere earlier today, Memorial Day 2012. Today was significant for our littlest one because she got her first "real food." Being premature, she did not even begin to take an interest in food until two weeks ago, at six months. We started her with cereal first, and today we gave her sweet potatoes. This makes our third daughter who experienced sweet potatoes for her first food feeding.

But Evvie hasn't always been this big. These next couple of pictures were taken on Veda's second birthday in January:
This second picture shows Daddy and Evvie looking through a seed catalogue to figure out what to plant in the raised beds this year. Since then, two raised beds have been built, and squash, tomatoes, peppers, salad mix and cucumbers are already planted. Carrots are in separate planting containers and beans, chard and another kind of cucumber are yet to be planted. We did have strawberry plants with little berries present, but they were accidentally mowed over.  Oops!
Did I mention a second birthday? Yep. Our VedaBug turned two on the 27th of January. We had a small family celebration with her at home and then the next day I held a very mini party where we got the first-ever picture of my three girls with their two cousins, or all of Oma and Opa's kids in one shot.
I know it looks like Guinevere is squashing Lincoln but, trust me, he was fine. Not only did Veda get more presents at her little party, but she also got another specially made cake from her Auntie Stephie:
 It was a purple jeep! Veda continues to love her cars. And shoes. She loves cars and shoes. I often see her racing her cars around the house while wearing green galoshes. Then she pauses to remove galoshes and put on purple Maryjane's. And then I look back a while later and she is wearing her sister's school shoes, leaving a wake of shoes and cars behind her.
Something else exciting happened when Veda turned two:  She got her first knitting bag and the opportunity to go with Mama to knitting! If you have been following along for a while, you will remember that Sylvia got this same experience. Veda was just as excited as her older sister had been.

But back to Guinevere . . .  
First sleep sack (as opposed to being swaddled.) This happened in mid-February. It always made me sad when we transitioned from the swaddlers to the sleep sacks, so I decided to commemorate the transition of our third with a photograph. But if I thought putting her in a sleep sack was rough, about a month later we moved her cradle from our room into her big sister (Veda's) room. THAT was rough! For me. Not Evvie. She did great. I was the one crying.
First smiles! We saw Evvie's first smiles in mid-February as well. It is hard having a preemie as all those things you long to see in your baby take much longer to appear. By mid-February Guinevere was already four months old. That was a lot of late nights we had to endure before we got any kind of "reward." But her smile is so gorgeous that is was totally worth the wait!

And somewhere in the middle between now and then, she got some good snuggles with her big sisters:

Guinevere had her six month Wellness Check last week. She is growing well! She is still kind of little at only about 13 1/2 pounds (5th percentile) but her length is closer to average and she remains consistent with her growth. She was also given a "performance review" a couple of weeks ago to track her milestones against where she "should" be at according to her gestational age. She performed at the equivalent of a four month old, and this puts her within the "competent" range. I realize it does not sound very exciting, but it actually is a nice reassurance that she is growing and gaining and beginning to show her personality in a timely manner.

As an example of how wonderful her gains in development are, this was a picture taken in April. She was contentedly swinging with Mr. Frog. If I were to try and take this same picture now, I would be hard pressed to because she would be holding onto Mr. Frog and the poor fuzzy amphibian would be clutched in her hand and flopping all over the place!
 Cute, isn't she?  We think so.
And, well, I couldn't resist that last one!

09 February 2012

Asking for Patience

My dear followers, I have learned something. I have learned that three small children, one of whom is still a new baby, means that I have virtually no time to myself. No time to knit, read, spin, or even blog. I hardly have time to sleep, but when I do have a small snippet of time it is this last activity that you will be likely to see me doing. And so, while things keep happening here, and many are things I would simply love to tell you about, I am struggling to find a spot in my day to upload photos, edit photos, and write.

Stay tuned. I will always try to share what I can, when I can.

01 January 2012

Hand Knits, Cousins and Dresses

This is Miss Wonderful, as her name tag says.  And Miss Wonderful is growing!  I made her an adorable (according to me!) hand knit outfit:
And she wore it for the first time on New Year's Eve:
As you can see, she shocked even herself that it fit so nicely already!  She simply had to show it off to her cousin, Lincoln, born exactly seven weeks before her:
He, um, didn't care for it much at first.  Miss Wonderful took the rejection very personally.  So, they attempted to make up:
Things took a while before they warmed to one another again, but finally a peace agreement was met:
No worries, they have generally gotten along well in the past:
Speaking of cousins, these older two are doing well and staying very chummy.  They both got rocking chairs for Christmas.  Lovebug's belonged to her Oma and her Great Aunt, and Dax's belonged to Opa:
Lovebug felt it very important that I include another picture with her and Dax.  This is because she wanted to show off her own lovely dress that she was wearing for New Year's Eve (and Oma's birthday):
She, however, does not understand the necessity of facing the camera in order to show off said dress.  Dax doesn't seem to get it either.  Oh-well.  And in case you are worried that the Pumpkin is sitting silently in a corner somewhere, never fear.  She makes it thoroughly impossible to ever forget her presence:
Happy New Year!

08 December 2011

"First" Bath

So, like nearly all newborns, we took pictures of Evvie's "first" bath.  It is her "first" because she had several while in the NICU.  We even bathed her while she was in the NICU.  It is also her "first" because this bath was given at my folks' house the night before we all headed home.  But, needless, this was indeed her first bath after leaving the hospital.
Unlike many newborns, she has cried only once during a bath thus far.  And, of course, it was the bath we photographed!  Otherwise, I have been amazed at how patient and calm she remains during bathing.
Almost done!  Just a little more rinsing off.
Phew!  Warm and cozy in the towel!

27 November 2011

Before the Homecoming

It was decided that we would not go directly home after Guinevere left the hospital.  We were encouraged to stay close by for the first couple of nights, in case Evvie did have problems.  And on Monday Dave officially takes over his new position at work and had already said that he was planning on being in the office that day.  Originally my mother-in-law was going to come up to help me care for the children and do all those things that I cannot yet do (such as lift Veda), but God had other plans.

This past Tuesday morning my father-in-law's father (Dave's grandpa) passed away.  He was ninety-three, adored my children (and even liked me), and while his death was expected, it is still always hard when the end does finally come.  His funeral is tomorrow and this is where Dave's family will be.  There was just no way that we could attend services, given our own family's situation.  But there will be an additional service at the Veteran's Home (where he was a resident) and we will attend this memorial.

And so, our family has continued to take up residence with my folks, whom have been most supportive.  And it was to their house that Evvie was first introduced.  She was greeted warmly by both of her sisters.
As we suspected, we have already had some trouble with Sylvia being a little too motherly.  We have had a couple of incidents where she has been "holding" Baby Evvie and then has not wanted to give her up when I have said that it was time for me to take her.  It is very sweet, and the Little Pumpkin is a truly caring big sister, and when you're three and as independent and stubborn as my Sylvia, you think you can do it all as well as Mommy.  Guidelines will be given and over the next several weeks I am hoping that Sylvia will learn all the ways in which she can help Baby Evvie while not causing unintentional harm to her.

What has surprised me is the initial interest Lovebug has shown in her baby sister.  She has wanted to hold her (which she sort of did once already), and she has "helped with feedings," and has often run over to check on her.  But probably the sweetest thing is the last couple of nights while climbing the stairs to her bedroom she looks behind her, waves her little hand and says, "Night-night, baby."  And this all coming from the girl whom when I told her we were getting Baby Evvie from the hospital and bringing her to Oma and Opa's house she looked at me, shook her head, and said, "No, no."

But as it begins to sink in that Evvie is a permanent fixture, we will see some jealousy begin to emerge (from both our older children).  Sylvia sort of understands that Guinevere is now a part of our family and that she will be going home with us.  Veda, I do not believe, can yet comprehend that when we go home Guinevere is coming with us.  Guinevere is going to be in Veda's house now, a place where Veda has only ever known her mommy and daddy and big sister and pets have ever resided.  It will be interesting, to say the least.

This and the following pictures are all of Evvie today.  She is eating like a "real" newborn and is quickly filling out!  She is growing chubby cheeks, and her tummy is beginning to get round.  She is adorable.  She is a miracle.

I knit those booties months ago already.  I made them especially small as all of my children have always had small feet, and I suspected that I may not deliver a full term baby as Veda came early.  But still I worried that those booties would never fit on my third daughter's feet.  It is the feared crisis situation for every knitter.  But in the end, not only do those booties fit, they are too large.  She has the teeniest ankles and the most narrow feet I have ever seen.  But again, she is growing fast and those adorable preemie outfits she has been wearing will be packed away in the closet probably far more quickly than I am prepared for.
Dave is a very happy Daddy.  The love he has for his girls is amazing to me.  I always knew that when the time came and we decided to have children he would be a good father, but I had no idea just how much love is inside this man.  This coming Sunday will be our seven year wedding anniversary and while we have been through some remarkable struggles and continue to face some present hardships and will certainly have many challenges ahead of us, I would marry him again and again and again.

Late Tuesday morning Guinevere has her first doctor's appointment.  It will be the first time Dave will get to attend one of our girls' first doctor's office visits.  He had to work for the other two and my mom had to drive me and my daughter.  It is after this appointment that we will return to my parents' house, load the rest of our stuff into the van (including our three girls) and then finally head home-- together as a family of five.
And as a final note:  My day to day life is hard.  We live in a very rural area with no support anywhere in the immediate vicinity (not to discount Phil, who has been amazing in caring for the animals these past couple of weeks), and there are no local places to bring the children so they can run around and burn off energy (and we live in a very small house).  I have one child with special needs that do affect our daily life and, well, I now have three very small children.  I do worry about this winter.  It can be very isolating by us, and now with a preemie who is not supposed to go anywhere except to the doctor and back, it will be just me and my girls. 

Yes, it is hard.  But I cannot complain.  I have been given three precious little lives.  I often lie in bed at night and feel overwhelmed with gratitude that for some reason I have been entrusted with these amazing daughters.  And I am so excited to get to know them and watch them grow and I can only hope and pray that I can have the same positive impact on them as they have already had on me.  When it comes right down to it, I love my life.  I feel as though I have been blessed far beyond what I deserve. 

And so, Lord, thank you for all my blessings, particularly those in the form of my loving husband and three beautiful girls.